Studies have found a link between a cluttered, unorganized environment and depression, stress and anxiety. Add bipolar disorder to the mix and the act of altering our living space can be emotionally paralyzing. Here are ten ways to simplify the process:
#1 Be intentional in your choices
Be thoughtful in your choices on whether to keep an item or throw it away or give to charity. That way, when you’re finished organizing your living space, you can look around and know that you made the choice consciously to keep or toss something. Be proud that you are intentionally creating a beautiful space to surround yourself in.
#2 Your environment, your mood
Research has shown that having a more open environment elevates mood and leads to feelings of freedom. High ceilings and more natural light make a difference, but so does well-arranged furniture that allows you to move around easily. When furniture is too big for a room, you will feel claustrophobic both physically and mentally.
#3 Everything in its place
Organization guru Julie Morgenstern promotes a three-part action plan: analyze, strategize, attack. She advises to think of your living space as a kindergarten classroom, a “model of organization” where everything has its own place. “If you’re 5 years old and find a tambourine in the middle of the floor, you know exactly where it goes,” she says.
#4 Use emotion to purge
Own too many jeans? “Instead of deciding which ones fit you … you might view them as ‘friends’ and ‘strangers,’” says Laurene, a professional organizer from Ontario. “Which ones make you feel fabulous when you’re wearing them? Which ones don’t you need in your life?”
#5 Start small
We all love the feeling of completing a product; Laurene calls this “completion energy.” She suggests placing a Hula-Hoop over the space you want to clear, such as a bedside table. This feeling of completion will help you move on to the next spot at another time. The trick is to maintain the organization of each space, so the clutter is gone for good.
#6 Chunks of time
Just like completing a small space is doable and makes you feel good afterward, so is managing small chunks of time; things just become more manageable. Put in your earbuds and listen to a podcast or a favorite couple of songs and spend the time decluttering one room or area.
#7 Have a plan
Don’t make the mistake of zigzagging around the house … starting in a room and then going to another to find a place for something, and then another room, and so on. Stay in the room you have decided to purge and organize and put the items that are either to go to another place (another room) or being thrown out into a box and leave that task until later or another time.
#8 Daily maintenance
Before you leave a room or at the end of the day, put everything back in its place—just like you are in that kindergarten class again. This act will make you feel like you’re accomplishing something every day. Then, once every six months, take a look at things and their “places” and determine if they still fit into their designated spot or whether they could be purged.
#9 Prevent clutter from happening
If you struggle with excessive spending during manic episodes, you will tend to buy stuff, which leads to clutter. The biggest help is to manage the disorder—with medication and/or therapy—in order to get a handle on the manic or hypomanic symptoms in the first place. If you’re able to, when you are feeling that adrenaline rush of wanting something badly, stop, breathe slowly, clear your mind and really consider whether the item will bring you peace and fulfillment.
#10 Reward yourself
Every time you choose to not buy that item you really wanted, do something special for yourself—you deserve it. Perhaps you take the money you would have spent and put it in a special savings jar and after saving for awhile, invest it in something that will provide you with lasting happiness and something you’ve put a lot of thought into.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community